Sometimes the urgency and overwhelm of a situation can make us forget what seems obvious to us in our saner moments. Here is a short list to help retain a more measured perspective during such challenging times.
1. Centre Yourself.
Disentangle from past experience, future projections and other matters currently on hand. Become fully present.
2. Be Self Aware.
It takes a great deal of presence to not allow our prior experience, habits, beliefs and conclusions to distort what we observe and receive. Being watchful can help mitigate this influence and keep our vision more clear and real.
Listen attentively, without allowing any distractions. A few minutes of these are far more powerful than hours of talk in which our inner commentary rules the airwaves.
4. Observe Objectively.
Use ‘Skinny Descriptions’, i.e. describe matters as factually as is possible, neither adding nor taking away from whatever is apparent.
Be like the mirror reflecting an object without any judgements about it.
5. Streamline The Story.
Align facts and events by as simple and clear a narrative as is possible. Correct for any filters and biases one may be aware of. Avoid inclusion of drama, ulterior motive and assumptions. These are usually imaginary or projected.
6. Question Conclusions.
Question any conclusions that arise. Byron Katie’s inquiry, “Is it true?” and “Can you absolutely know that it’s true?” are good checkpoints.
7. Look Deeper.
Ask yourself: “What am I not seeing here?” and “What else is relevant here?”. Context can dramatically change our interpretation of things.
8. Keep The Doors Open.
The Access Consciousness tool “What else is possible?” repeated a few times may help discover options hitherto unseen.
Ask yourself: “Do I really need to respond this?”
Before rushing into reply or action, pause to see if it is appropriate or simply a reflexive compulsion.
10. Respond Mindfully.
Slow down. Even a few seconds of this can be helpful in clearing mind-fog. Any subsequent action (or non-action) will be more clarified and efficient.
11. Let Go.
Do your best and leave the rest. There are no regrets when one knows that one has done the very best that one possibly could at that point.
PS: If you feel these reminders would be useful in reducing one’s stress and harmonizing our interactions, please share them with others!